Not untypically, in a pub, the "Horn and Trumpet" in Bewdley, Worcestershire.
I'd taken a long walk through the woods from home, and nipped in for a pint of cider and a sandwich. By way of business I knew some of those killed; not bosom buddies but I thought of them as colleagues. We knew one of the waitresses in the restaurant quite well; I think she copped it.
It was a quiet old walk back home.
I was on Rt 66 heading towards Falls Church Va., my parents home. Traffic was backed up and black suv's with blue flashing lights were screaming towards D.C. on the shoulders and medians. I turned on the radio and they reported an aircraft from Dulles was headed toward the Pentagon, then it hit. Wasn't long before the smoke rose over Rt 495. They reported that an aircraft in Pa. was being scrambled on by our fighters. Then they reported it was down. I thought for sure we took it out. When I got to parents home and saw TV they were asking for blood donors to come to Fairfax Hospital. I went. Stood in line for over 3 hours. LOTS of blood donors turned out. We were given clip boards to complete which included medical histories. As I am a cancer survivor I was dismissed.
My flight from Dulles back to Wisconsin was delayed about 4 days. Never forget....
Middle of Alaska moose hunting. Had no idea until three-four days after 9/11. That is until an old trapper boated up and let me know that the U.S. was under attack.
I was at work when one of the docs came in and said there was an attack on NY. My boss (whose father lives in NYC) sent everyone home. He NEVER had done that before. I called my son out west and while we were on the phone he walked into a gas station and saw the 2nd plane hit. No mother wants to see their child (albeit an adult) witness something so painful.
I knew that one of my good friends was living in NYC at the time. Her stepmother was a pilot who should have been piloting the plane from Boston to SF, but a fellow pilot asked if he could take the flight and she agreed. My friend didn't know that and assumed the worst. She rushed to the scene and photographed the nightmare. Because of communication being almost nil out of NY, it took her days to realize Dunja was not the pilot on that flight.
VT is only a 7 hour drive to NY. The next few days with nothing but military jets flying over was eery.
This was painful for everyone, but for those who were at the center of it all and lost so many friends, co-workers, neighbors and a way of life it's heart breaking. Simply unforgivable.
I was assigned to the motor unit at that time, and I was leaving my garage about the time the first plane hit. By the time I got to work, the second plane had just hit the second tower, and I knew without even seeing anything on the news that we were under attack and in my opinion "At War" with whoever it was. I remember being angry at the guys working patrol and the Sgt. who were standing in the briefing room watching the news. I told them if there was ever a time we needed to be a visible presence it was then. (I guess having spent time in the military including a visit to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm gives you a different view on things then someone who doesn't have that "life experience".)
I went out and only wrote three tickets that day, not many for a motor cop, and spent the rest of the day waiting to be needed for an attack somewhere else. I was never more proud of the uniform I was wearing then that day.
One thing I remember that I thought was incredible was what Starbucks did that day. My wife was a district manager for them at the time, and they closed every one of their stores nationwide, and told their employees to go home and be with their families.
I still have and will always have an American Flag flying in front of my house every day...